The number of people infected with monkeypox, also called monkeypox, reached 26 in the Federal District this Monday (12/9). The Health Department confirmed one more case of the disease since the last report, made on Thursday (8/9).
Of the total number of infected, 226 are male and 8 are female. Laboratory tests ruled out another 439 cases that were under investigation. There are still 211 suspected cases being investigated. Most cases are in the age group of 20 to 39 years.
In order to remove doubts about the transmission of monkeypox, the metropolises explains four myths on the subject:
Myth 1: “Only gay and bisexual men are at risk of catching the disease”
Anyone who lives in or has close contact with a patient with sores or blisters caused by the monkeypox virus is at risk of becoming infected. This includes relatives, romantic and sexual partners, as well as healthcare professionals, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The president of the Sociedade de Infectologia do Distrito Federal, José David Urbaez, explains that the beginning of the transmission of the disease coincided with major events of the gay pride calendar and that the virus finds in the agglomerations the perfect environment to spread.
“This group of people, due to one circumstance, was at greater risk. It could have been at Carnival. Many factors made the virus find a more efficient way of transmission. This is not to say that it has anything to do with sexual orientation,” he says.
Myth 2: “The virus is not airborne; so I don’t need to do isolation”
Isolation is part of the measures to contain the outbreak. The patient must remain in quarantine for about 21 days three or until all the lesions are completely healed and without scabs, according to José David Urbaez.
Although the monkeypox virus was found in a semen sample, it remains to be seen whether transmission can occur through contact with sperm or vaginal fluids. Still, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the disease a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Contagion occurs mainly when there is close contact – which happens through kissing, hugging, oral or penetrative sexual intercourse – with fluids from the wounds or blisters of an infected patient. Other transmission routes are through sharing objects and contaminated surfaces.
Myth 4: “Monkey smallpox has a high risk of death”
Although the disease can cause severe conditions — with severe pain caused by skin lesions, involvement of the rectal mucosa and permanent scars throughout the body — the mortality rate from monkeypox virus infection is below 1%.
“Fortunately, the disease has a very low lethality. In some African countries, lethality is higher due to the lack of access to diagnosis and treatment, a situation completely different from our reality”, ponders José David Urbaez.
People with compromised immune systems, newborns and very young children are at risk of developing more serious conditions when infected. However, in most cases, symptoms progress and disappear on their own within a few weeks.
“In the past, between 1% and 10% of people with monkeypox died. It is important to note that mortality rates in different contexts may differ due to a number of factors, such as access to healthcare.
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